According to an investigation report by The Daily Telegraph and European media partners in The Signals Network, Huawei, a world leader in equipment for wireless telecommunication, tells their Chinese employees who work in Europe not to marry Westerners if they want to keep their jobs. A manual for employees, entitled “West European Region Chinese Expatriates Assignment and Mobility Management Regulation,” states that if those granted a permit in a European country marry an EU resident, their employers would ask them to leave the continent forthwith.
The document states that settling in Europe is an example of a breach of the employment contract. Anyone doing so “will be asked to resign from the company or its subsidiary.”
Those who’ve applied for or obtained residency in an EU country or whose spouses are permanent EU residents and those who have voluntarily requested permanent residence in the EU must leave Europe ASAP. If they don’t follow the order, the company will terminate their employment,” the text states.
An ex-Huawei employee based in Europe said: “The internal atmosphere is that if you marry a local person and get citizenship rights, then this is seen as a betrayal.” He noted that Huawei tries to keep its employees working overseas while oppressing them with strict legal codes. Huawei also transfers its employees every five years to stop them from settling down in Europe.
Documents noted that after a Huawei manager discovered that a longtime overseas employee planned to marry a European woman, his manager told him that he could only continue working for the company if he left Europe. “It’s my opinion that the reason they don’t want you to marry someone local is to stop you from getting local residence and getting legal status in Western Europe.” The employee said he believes that Huawei wants to prevent its workers from leaking information about China’s internal affairs to foreigners and “using the company as a tool to emigrate to Western Europe.”
Professor Anthony Glees at the University of Buckingham, who commented on the investigation report, said: “These are stipulations that no normal commercial company would make of its employees, and that is alarming and disturbing. It would seem to me to contradict the market interest of the company, which is to sell its kit, not give people the impression that it’s some kind of state agency.”
Although a spokesperson for Huawei claimed that the policy was no longer valid, he did not specify when it had lifted the work restrictions. “If any assigned employee elects to apply for permanent residence in the local country, this is their matter,” he said. The spokesman also claimed that the UK branch of Huawei “has not adopted the policy.”
The Chinese company faced unrelenting criticism from the United States government last year, resulting in the “Huawei ban,” which prevents Huawei from doing business with any organization that operates within the United States. The U.S. accused the company of being used by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to spy with its 5G equipment.
Last year, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Huawei equipment would be banned from the 5G network by 2027 due to the alleged “backdoors” in its technology. Huawei maintains that it is not a spy for the CCP and is an independent, privately-held company. The company denies that it “has ever collected user’s data for the CCP,” stating that it would never secretly access telecom networks, “nor do we have the capability to do so.”
Still, the UK has said that Britain would restrict wireless carriers from adding any new gear to UK telecommunications networks as early as September 2021.